09/02/2015VATICAN Pope: Never again war, the plea of minorities and persecuted Christians On the anniversary of the end of the Second World War, Francis asks that “the world today no longer experience the horrors and the appalling suffering of such tragedies. But she does!”. "The alliance between families and God, called today to combat the desertification of the modern city." Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Never again war", persecutions, sufferings, arms trafficking. This was the rallying call made by Pope Francis on the anniversary of the end of the Second World War, with Japan's surrender on Sept. 2, 1945.
09/01/2015VATICAN Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation in St Peter's Basilica Pope Francis leads the Liturgy of the Word on the day he instituted in unity with the Orthodox Church. Representatives of all Christian churches attend the service. Without the conversion of heart to God, “ecology has not chance of succeeding." Saint Francis of Assisi is the model of caring for creation.
09/01/2015VATICAN Pope stresses Jubilee, God’s tenderness for women who had an abortion, Lefebvrians, prisoners, the sick In a letter to Mgr Rino Fisichella, Pope Francis adds new criteria to traditional ones to receive indulgence. All priests can forgive the sin of abortion by preparing themselves to welcome sincerely the sinners. The sick and the lonely can accept “suffering as an experience of closeness to the Lord”. The Jubilee year might bring amnesty, whilst a cell’s door might become a Holy Door. Through works of mercy, one can obtain plenary indulgence. The pontiff seeks reconciliation with the Society of St Pius X.
09/01/2015VATICAN Pope: Our final embrace with Christ and the idleness "of chatter" As public Masses begin again in Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis calls Christians to witness to hope (and fear) of the definitive encounter with Jesus Christ. "He will come to see me so that I may see him with my own eyes, embrace him and be with him always." "Let us comfort one another through good deeds and good words, on this road."
08/31/2015ORTHODOX CHURCH – VATICAN Bartholomew I and Catholics together on World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation For the first time tomorrow, Orthodox and Catholics will celebrate event together, which Pope Francis picked this year. The content of the patriarch’s message is very similar to that of the encyclical Laudato si’. Man is a fool to think that he owns creation rather than being its steward. Ascetic behaviour can correct the excesses of consumerism. The Gospel can clean the spiritual garbage caused by material garbage.
08/31/2015LEBANON – VATICAN Michael Malke’s beatification and the future of Iraqi and Syrian martyrs by Fady Noun The martyrdom of the Syriac Catholic bishop at the hands of the Ottoman Empire continues logically into today’s persecution in Syria, Iraq and across the whole Middle East. Now, the victims of the massacre in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad in 2010 will become the subject of a cause of beatification. Indifferent to the fate of Christians, the great powers have lost their way when it comes to refugees.
08/31/2015PALESTINE-ISRAEL Msgr. Michel Sabbah among demonstrators assaulted by Israeli army in Beit Jala by Joshua Lapide The Patriarch Emeritus of Jerusalem had joined hundreds of Palestinians demanding a stop to the construction of the wall near Bethlehem. Fears over new illegal settlements of Jewish settlers. "This land belongs to us ... and one day will be returned to us” ." You are stronger with your guns, but you are not the strongest when it comes to humanity."
08/30/2015VATICAN For pope, the blessed martyr Flavianus Michael Malke can bring “consolation” to persecuted Mideast Christians During the Angelus, Pope Francis mentioned yesterday’s beatification in Harissa (Lebanon) of the bishop killed during the Armenian-Syriac Genocide (1915), appealing to the international community to "do something" to end violence and abuses against religious freedom. He also urged the faithful to pray for the migrants who died trying to reach Europe, with a minute of silence observed for the 71 victims who suffocated to death in a lorry on their way to Vienna. “With external attitudes, one cannot call oneself a Christian unless one changes one’s heart,” he said. “The border between good and evil does not run outside of us but within us, in our consciousness."
08/29/2015IRAN - CHINA Tehran and Beijing to develop closer ties, work on Arak nuclear reactor project China will play a leading role in redesigning the Arak heavy-water reactor to reduce its plutonium output from 10 kg to less than 1kg. It might also help Iran build two small, 100 megawatts nuclear reactors. China, Iran and the US are set to meet in mid-September at the International Atomic Energy Agency's general conference.
08/29/2015IRAQ Baghdad patriarch calls for a government of "national emergency" to save Iraq by Joseph Mahmoud In a letter to Iraq’s highest authorities, Mar Sako calls for a government that represents all of the country’s components. He notes that reforms currently discussed should be wisely vetted before they are approved. Politicians should possess “high integrity and professionalism”. Ethnic and sectarian militias should be incorporated into the regular police and armed forces.
08/28/2015SYRIA – EUROPEAN UNION Migrants found suffocated to death in a lorry in Austria were from Syria A girl aged between one and two years old was among the victims. Four people – three Bulgarians and an Afghan – have been arrested in connection with the case. Most of those fleeing to Europe are from Syria and Afghanistan. Two boats with 500 people sink off the coast of Libya.
08/28/2015KAZAKHSTAN Agreement on a new international nuclear bank signed in Kazakhstan The bank will curb nuclear proliferation by countries like Iran. It will be built in the Ulba metallurgical plant (eastern Kazakhstan) with a transit agreement with the Russian Federation. Kazakh President Nazarbayev first made the proposal in 2009. The member countries must meet strict IAEA rules. Programmes towards food sustainability using nuclear and related biotechnologies are in the works.
08/28/2015VATICAN - IRAQ Fr. Samir of Amadiya: The Pope is the voice of Iraqi refugees by Bernardo Cervellera The Chaldean priest met Pope Francis, asking him to keep the world’s focus on Christian refugees from Mosul and the Nineveh Plain. His diocese is home to 3500 Christian families and almost half a million Yazidis who fled Islamic State violence. ISIS is not all Islam and there are Muslims who want an Iraq of coexistence. Christians might not emigrate, but remain in their own land. Aid projects for refugees: school for children, work for adults, a home for every family. An appeal to AsiaNews.